Phillip Cocu’s XI to face Barnsley in a key Championship clash on Thursday includes a Derby County debut for ex-England star Wayne Rooney.
Wayne Rooney will captain Derby County on his Rams debut after being named in their starting XI for Thursday’s Championship clash at home to Barnsley.
Rooney’s return to English football comes after the former Three Lions skipper ended his spell playing for MLS side DC United.
Manchester United and England’s all-time leading goalscorer has been handed the armband after being included in the Derby team by his new boss Phillip Cocu.
Ex-Everton forward Rooney signed for Derby last August and has been training with the Rams since his contract with DC came to an end when they missed out on the 2019 play-offs.
The Rams line-up for #DCFCvBFC.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) January 2, 2020
Derby beat Charlton Athletic 2-1 at Pride Park on Monday to end a poor run of seven Championship games without a win.
The Rams are 17th in the table and will be hoping Rooney, who is also a coach on Cocu’s backroom staff, can inspire a rise up the league.
Also on Thursday, Derby chairman Mel Morris explained a delay to a potential investment was behind the club’s players receiving their wages late.
The squad were supposed to be paid on New Year’s Eve and Morris said they have now received their monthly pay.
“All the players were paid at 11am this morning,” Morris said in quotes reported by the Derby Telegraph. “We tried to get transfers done on Christmas Eve. We’ve got an investment that was meant to be coming in, it didn’t arrive.
“Because of that it left us a bit short, so I had to rush down to the bank this morning and personally write the cheque to make sure they got paid.”